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Published on Nov 11, 2008
One night in 1980, sixteen-year old Gito Baloi tiptoed out of his home in Maputo, Mozambique, to start a new life. His country was in the grip of a civil war and soldiers were making regular house calls recruiting young boys to fight. Gito was confident that he wanted to be a musician and not a soldier and so he started walking towards Joburg, South Africa. The journey took him six months.
Over the next twenty-four years, as he worked his way into the social and musical fabric of Southern Africa, Gito became well-known and well-loved, both for his contributions to collaborations like Tananas (with Steve Newman & Ian Herman) and his work as a solo artist. A true world citizen, he travelled making music and friends across the globe, from Japan, France, Germany, the Canary Islands, Scandinavia, the USA, Spain, Australia, and the UK to all over Africa.
In the early hours on the 4th of April, 2004, while driving home from a performance, Gito was shot dead. When the police arrived on the scene they found his car still full of musical instruments. They phoned his home from his mobile which was still in his pocket.
This video is from the last concert Gito did with his band: Dave Reynolds (steelpans), Babes Ndamase (drums), Lindelani Mathonsa (keys) and George Sunday (guit).
A new album has been released called Beyond, a collection of ten previously unreleased songs from a pool of hundreds of unfinished musical works that Gito left behind. Using his bass and vocals as a skeleton, the music was reworked and developed in studio by some of the musicians that had worked closely with Gito on various different projects in his life: Steve Newman, Paul Hanmer, Ian Herman, Dave Reynolds, McCoy Mrubata, Moses Khumalo, Pedro Da Silva Pinto (of 340ml), Tlale Makhene, Tony Cox, Frank Paco, Nibs Van Der Spuy, Deepak Ram, Rui Soeiro (of 340ml), Bernice Boikanyo, Paulo Chibanga (of 340ml), Thuli Mdlalose, Eliot Short, Vusi Maseko and Graeme Sacks.
The album is a 100% charity venture with all proceeds going to the Gito Baloi Memorial Trust.
Hard copy album with photos and stories from Gitos life can be purchased here: